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4/8/2013
Master Wood Engraver and Printer Gaylord Schanilec Will Discuss and Show His Forthcoming Book on April 20 at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central
Internationally renowned wood engraver and printer Gaylord Schanilec will share images from and discuss the process of creating his forthcoming book, “Lac des Pleurs,” on Saturday, April 20, 2-4 p.m. in the Doty Board Room at Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Admission is free.
 
Schanilec’s books and other print projects, produced by his press, Midnight Paper Sales, are recognized as fine art and sought around the world. He works from his studio in Stockholm, Wisc., and aboard his boat, The Hungry Mind, where he sketched wildlife for “Lac des Pleurs.” Lac des Pleurs means Lake of Tears and was the name given to Lake Pepin by Father Louis Hennepin.
 
Schanilec’s projects include a bookmark produced for the former Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library.
 
Born and educated in North Dakota, Schanilec began creating pen-and-ink illustrations for books produced by Twin Cities small presses in the 1970s. With a passion for detail and precision, he progressed to wood cuts and engravings. Today, he may spend hundreds of hours engraving a wood block, depending on the complexity of the image and the size of the block.
 
Schanilec says he draws from the specimen print tradition of the 18th and 19th centuries, of which John James Audubon is perhaps the most well-known practitioner. He engraves on the end-cut of a piece of wood to achieve greater detail and precision, unlike wood cut technique, which uses the plank side of a piece of wood.
 
Schanilec sets all of the text by hand in metal type, a laborious practice he prefers “for the intimacy of it.” He explained, “Let’s say you have a short poem. If you set every letter of every word by hand, you’re thinking about each word, about the space between each word. As you spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it, it becomes an organic process.”
 
Schanilec says the most difficult part of his projects is printing, “because I’m striving to perfection.”
 
His engravings have been exhibited at major galleries and art centers around the world. The University of Minnesota has the complete archive of his works and his working materials. His awards and honors date back 30 years; recent honors include the Carl Hertzog Award for outstanding accomplishment in the field of fine printing as an art, the Gregynog Prize for exceptional work in traditional letterpress technique, and honorary membership in London’s Double Crown Club, an exclusive club of printers, publishers, book designers and illustrators.
 
A copy of “Lac des Pleurs” will be donated to Hennepin County Library’s James K. Hosmer Special Collections in memory of former Minneapolis Central staff member Beverly Hogan.
 
The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Minneapolis Central Library. For more information:  612-543-8000 or  www.hclib.org.
4/8/2013


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